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“Overpriced and underwhelming first visit”
Review of 51 Lincoln - CLOSED

51 Lincoln
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American, Contemporary, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Columbus
Transit: Newton Highlands T stop on the Green Line(D) is located two blocks from the restaurant at the base of Lincoln Street.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Visited for the first time recently with two other couples and for as much hype as 51 Lincoln has gotten - as well as how difficult it seems to be to get a reservation - I really expected better atmosphere, friendlier service and better food. The atmosphere in the front of the main dining room was terrible. We were seated in one of the 6-person booths in the front of the restaurant and I highly advise against it. The lighting was way too bright and the metal venetian blinds made it feel like I was in a bad 80's diner, not an upscale neighborhood hot spot. Service was spotty - very slow and not personable and took forever to bring the check.

As for the food, the specialty drinks were unremarkable, the "Chef's Famous Bolognese," was closer to good than very good and the special dessert that night, an apple tart, was very poor.

In all, I think 51 Lincoln is too expensive and too subpar an experience to make it worth trying again. Try The Biltmore, The Cottage or Capital Grille as they are cozier, friendlier and better values.

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Thank W T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (163)
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95 - 99 of 163 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2012

I have tried to enjoy 51 three times over the past three months as I live locally and need dining options. I have not been asked once in three visits how my experience is. I have had to ask for menus, ask for cocktails, and ask for my bill on all visits. I did email the restaurant directly with my concerns but after not hearing back I felt obligated to share my thoughts.

I wish 51 was an option locally to dine or even meet for a cocktail but I can not support a restaurant who obviously does not address service issues. Just read Yelp!

P.S. take a service que from Dunn Gaherins or The Local which both excel at customer focus and satisfaction

Thank Pac0830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

It's got all the hallmarks of a great restaurant -- but just doesn't deliver the goods when it comes to service and atmosphere. The food is very good (duck breast, signature bolognese, house salad, Caesar salad), and you pay for it -- high $20's for most entrees. It's the price of the salads and appetizers that gets me: $11-$15. Really? But time after time, it's the service -- or lack thereof -- that gets in the way of enjoyment. The hostess seems perenially cold, and the servers, while amiable, are just too slow. Maybe it's the kitchen .... And with no fabric of any kind to absorb sound, the room is deafeningly loud. I keep telling myself if only I can get a seat at the bar and order the lite bites, I'll be happy. I've never scored a seat at the bar (they seem best available at either 5:30 or 9:30) to test my theory. My conclusion: Regrettably, it's just too much money to spend on an unsatisfactory experience.

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Thank Sarah41707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

My sister in-laws 50th birthday part was a private party here and as always it was fantastic. I had the steak option which was cooked to perfection. On other occasions I have had the beef bolognese which is to die for. Service is outstanding, wine selection is very good. They have a bar area as well as normal dining options. Make reservations as they are always busy.

Highly recommended!!

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Thank Sean S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

I've been here several times, and mostly because I live close by and it's one of the nicer restaurants in Newton. It is extremely loud here; upstairs and downstairs. Do not go here for a romantic dinner, it's more a place to go with family or friends. I recommend they work on their soundproofing, and surprised they haven't yet since it's been consistently loud every time I have visited since it has opened.
On the other hand I love the menu. Very classy. I love anything with truffle infused into the dish, and their polenta fries with truffle dip are delicious and well made. The watermelon steak has great flavors and worth a try, but honestly I couldn't get over the texture and only have ordered it once. The cheese they use in it though is wonderful.
I've had their handmade fusilli which is excellent, yet the quail could have had more flavor. Was very tender but it was certainly lacking a flavor other than meat. The polenta it came with was overly peppered (thankfully I love black pepper). The chicken under a brick is consistently good.
Overall I like this place and will probably return, yet the ambiance is crowded and rowdy and can have you leaving with a headache.

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Thank pandashmanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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